Since September 2018, there is only one point of entry at the beginning of the programme year. There are no longer entry points in January and April. Children can start ECCE when they reach 2 years and 8 months of age and continue until they transfer to primary school (provided that they are not older than 5 years and 6 months at the end of the pre-school year).
The www.laoischildcare.ie provides an eligibility calendar showing when your child can participate in the ECCE programme.
Exemptions from age limit
If your child is over the eligibility age requirement due to special needs, they may be able to get an exemption from the upper age limit for the ECCE Scheme.
There are no exemptions to the lower age limit.
Children with special needs
A new Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) was introduced in June 2016 for children starting ECCE in September 2016. AIM supports a child-centred model, involving seven levels of progressive support, moving from universal to targeted support, based on the needs of the child and the pre-school provider. The model offers tailored, practical supports based on need.
Where it is considered that your child needs additional support, we can apply, in partnership with you, for targeted supports under AIM.
The AIM website https://aim.gov.ie/for-parents/ provides information for Parents and Frequently Asked Questions on supports available. Laois Childcare Committee will also be able to provide you with information and guidance on AIM.